Home Maintenance Guide

Home Maintenance

The Smart Homeowner’s Guide to performing a home check up

Questions Homeowners Have about the Home Check up

That’s easy to answer. To keep your home in the best possible condition.

A detailed checkup is just like a visit to the doctor’s office and your medical checkup. You want to know what’s okay and what’s not okay. And you want to take measures to fix things that need fixing before they problems get out of hand.

Finding problems early helps you to preserve your home. And doing preventive maintenance can extend the life of equipment and materials, which generally proves to be less expensive than replacing these components.


How do I perform the home checkup?

We’ve provided you with lists of what to do. These checklists show the items that need to be inspected during the home checkup. The lists also suggest the best time for performing each inspection.

The frequency of inspections and service given in the charts reflect the minimum amount

of time and service your house and various household appliances will require. Items may

need to be checked more often or at other times depending on the number of occupants,

types of materials, local conditions, household pets, and other variables.

Grounds   and Yard Spring Fall Annually As Required
Drain outside water lines and hoses X
Clean area wells, window wells, and storm drains. X X
Check driveways and sidewalks for cracks, yard for settlement   and soil erosion. X
Check safety and reversing mechanism on electric garage door   operators, adjust if needed. X
Doors   and windows Spring Fall Annually As Required
Check doors, windows, and trim for finish failure. X
Check Glazed openings for loose Putty. X
Check for broken glass and damaged screens. X
check and lubricate window hardware X
check weather-stripping for damage and tightness of fit. X X
Check caulking at doors, windows and all other openings and   joints between dissimilar materials (like wood and masonry). X
Exterior   Walls Spring Fall Annually As Required
Check masonry for cracks and loose joints. X
Check painted surfaces for paint failure. X
Check siding and trim for damage and decay. X
Roof Spring Fall Annually As Required
Check for damaged or loose shingles, blistered roofing. X
check underside of roof where accessible for water stains or   dampness. X
check for damaged flashing X
check for damaged gutters, downspouts, hangers, strainers, and   rust. X
Clean gutters and downspouts. X
Sweep debris from flat and low slopes roofs. X
Evaluate roof for future replacement. X
check vents, louvers, and chimney caps and housings for bird   nests, etc. X X
Check fascias and soffits for paint failure and decay. X
check antenna by wires and supports X
check masonry chimneys X
Interior   Surfaces Spring Fall Annually As Required
Check all joints in ceramic tile, laminated plastic, and similar   surface. X X
Check grouting around tubs, showers, and sinks X X
Floors Spring Fall Annually As Required
Check for wear and damage, particularly where one material meets   another. X
Evaluate for replacement or refinishing. X
Plumbing Spring Fall Annually As Required
Check Flush valves, faucets, hose bibs, and supply and drainage   piping, including those in basement and /or crawl space. X
Check septic tank. X
Check water heater. X
Electrical   System Spring Fall Annually As Required
Check condition of lamp cords, extension cords, and plugs.   Replace at first sign of wear or damage. X X
Check exposed and overhead wiring for damage and missing   insulation. Replace or repair as needed. X
If fuses blow or breakers trip frequently, call an electrician   to locate the cause and make repairs X
If you feel a slight shock or tingling from touching any   appliance, disconnect it and make repairs. X
Test ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI’s) X X
Heating   and Cooling System Spring Fall Annually As Required
Clean or change any air filters. X
Clean dirt and dust from around furnaces. X X
Have heating and cooling system checked by a qualified service   person. X
Remove window air conditioners for winter X
service humidifiers and/or dehumidifier. X
Foundation and basement Spring Fall Annually As Required
Inspect for signs of termite infestation. X
Check grading to assure that water will drain away from the   foundation. X
Check basement or crawl space for dampness and/or leakage   following wet weather. X


For Doors and windows:

Mildew or mold on ceilings and in closets is an indication that excessive moisture is present. This may also be evident by sweating windows. Excessive moisture can cause extensive damage to the house. Moisture problems can occur for many reasons, a few being improper venting, blocked vents, a tightly built home, high efficiency gas furnace, etc. Condensation problems that are persistent should be checked out by a professional home inspector. Windowsills are very susceptible to damage from the sun, moisture, conditions are too dry etc. It is necessary to keep a good coat of paint or varnish on these areas to prevent rot.

For Roof: 

Roof Covering Life Expectancy
Asphalt shingles 15 to 20 years
Asphalt Multi-thickness   shingles 20 to 30 years
Asphalt interlocking   shingles 15 to 25 years
roll roofing 10 years
built-up roofing 10 to 20 years
Wood shingles 10 to 20 years
clay tiles 10 to 40 years
Cement tiles 20+ years
Slate shingles 30 to 100+ years
asbestos cement shingles 30 to 75 years
metal roofing 15 to 40+ years
Single ply membrane 15 to 25 years



Time: No roof covering lasts forever. We just haven’t figured

out how to make the ideal roof covering that would never have to be replaced. This chart shows the estimated

natural lifetime of various types of roof covering.

Roofs natural enemies are: Sun, Rain, Wind, Trees, Moss, Snow & Ice and TIME.



 For Electrical:


There are a few basic things the homeowner should be aware of and examine occasionally. Locate and tag the electrical main turnoff for the house. All adult occupants should know this location. Trip the circuit breaker every 6 months and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) every month. Check the condition of lamp cords, extension cords, and plugs. It’s a good idea to test outlets near water for the proper polarity and grounding. Most hardware stores carry inexpensive testers. If fuses blow or breakers trip frequently, have a licensed electrician determine the cause.